Natalya Andreyevna Bronin (also known as Nikitin), a successful opera singer, is relaxing in her bedroom when her husband, Denis Petrovitch Nikitin, arrives. He has just been visiting a wealthy man named Zagvozdkin and is upset because Zagvozdkin wouldn't lend him money. Denis expresses his views on capital and business to his wife, who is tired and just wants to go back to sleep. The story highlights the dynamic between the couple, with Denis being loud and boisterous while Natalya is reserved and tired. It also touches on the theme of capital and business, with Denis being critical of wealthy people who don't invest their money.